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Subject: Tom Lehrer plays piano while singing out rules to various math formulas
The performance was a little corny but otherwise I thought it was really well done and highly intelligent. I give this video five stars.
Subject: Rare songs, what a treat!
Funny he mentioned Danny Kaye, who also did similar clever ditties. Our elementary school chorus performed "Pollution" circa 1970. Unique voice, cheerful absurd observations set to rhythm. TL up there among the greatest, with Stan Freberg's song with satire.
Subject: What a find!
As a Brit, it was my privalidge to have watched Tom each week on British TV, performing the songs which became the album "That was the year that was". Luckily having an elder brother I was by that time already familiar with the vast majority of Tom's repertoir, to the point of being able to sing along word for word! The show in which Tom sang the songs on the album allowed us to learn a new song each week.
Now this film fills in some gaps as these songs are not at all familiar to me.
Thanks a lot for putting this up.
Subject: It's like the Holy Grail!
Back in high school in the 70's, those of us geeks into Tom Lehrer had heard of his little concerts at UCSC and assumed that if we didn't go there, we were never going to hear them. Though we may have thought it tragic, (not to mention other adjec-tives) we've lived with it all these years.
Today I found this and I am so so happy. Whoever is responsible for taping this and sharing it has done us devoted fans a priceless service. Thank you!
Noel A Shaw -
Subject: A joyful discovery
Even after 40 years, I still rank TL as the greatest satirist of all time. I just had to find out if he was still around and - joy of joys - I found this video. Oh, if only there had been a few more hours of it! Still, I'm thankful for this all-too-brief snippet from this remarkable man. He is neither a helpless inmate nor one of the lunatics running the asylum but one of the few people on the planet able to observe all, with every brain cell warmed up and
running with flawless acuity - and get us all laughing at the world's absurdities while wishing that we could do what he does so brilliantly. Piano technique as polished and sheer enthusiasm as boundless as ever. Long may
his chimney continue to put forth smoke.
Subject: I know the elements!
My friend had this song on his MP3, and gave it to me, i was sooo intrested that i now know them off by heart! i recite them whenever i have a spare moment, and have gained many friends by doing so. he says that it may be useful in a a bizzare set of circumstances, but i use it to help me in chemistry tests!
Jamie :-) -
I can't believe I came across this!!! I LOVE Tom Lehrer's songs!!! I grew up listening to and enjoying them! My parents had all of his records but I enjoyed "Songs by Tom Lehrer" the best! My favorite is "The Hunting Song!" I love to sing and play this song on my guitar! I also love "The Irish Ballad." One of the best lyricists ever, if not the best! So great to see a video of him performing! Would love to see an old one! Would love to meet him most of all to let him know how he inspired me and my songwriting! A huge influence!!! Love all of his songs!!!
Subject: Tom Lehrer
My dad used to play the album "That Was The Year That Was" all the time when I was a kid growing up in the 60's. We used to listen to this stuff and try to figure out what he meant (as a kid you don't really understand political satire). But it was entertaining anyway. I had also never seen him live but I think my dad did. The thing that triggered the trip down memory lane was the Google "Quote of the day" for today August, 11, 2006 - "On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away." - Tom Lehrer This is the kind of sarcastic, satirical humor that we have all come to love from Tom. Rock on Tom and keep it coming!!
Subject: Recording Details
This is great footage. I'm a long time Tom Lehrer fan, but have never seen him perform.
Anyone know any details on the recording? Where it was made? When (clearly it's post Andrew Wiles)? Why?
Thanks for tracking this down.
Sheryl Zettner -
Subject: The "Algebra" Rhyme Challenge
Has anyone else taken his challenge to find a rhyme for algebra seriously? I came up with two lame ones, but what a fun thing to try and do!!! I recommend it for wasting time. :-)
In a zoo, a banal zebra
Was starting to learn his algeebra.
Starting his charting of sins and co-sins
On his fellow zebras with all of their lines.
Just how far can algebra steer us?
Consider the case of my pal Jeb Ramirez...
Or put another way, he's not just good for listening. I like the way he was encouraging people to experiment themselves. I guess he got that from having been a teacher. :-)
That was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I started out by trying to memeriosing the elements song and then I found this movie. It was so SWEET. I love it.
Subject: my name
my name is kirkley wirkley and i love you!!
Subject: I think I've just wet m' self!
It was 1956 and we were in the process of moving our household from Denver back to Florida, Dad still in CO, Mamma in summer school in Tallahassee, FL upgrading her credentials in special ed. That summer was magnificent! My birthday in June, the fireflies, the watermelon! I was only nine that year but I discovered The Trios Kingston and Chad Mitchell, Enoch Light, "Archie & Mehitibal" with Tammie Grimes and Eddie Braken (it was on a clear blue vinyl pressing my uncle owned), but the one that I think impacted my world view in the same way that Mark Twain did was good old TL.
When we left for St. Petersurg at the end of summer I was un able to take the two albums with me (there was a blue one and an orange one) but that was of little consequence because I had committed the lyrics to memory much to the shigrin of my belagured parents who I think tried to leave me, unsucessfully, at several Stuckeys along the way! Mr. L became a rite of passage just as Jack Paar, Lenney Bruce and so many others in the ensueing years.
I had not heard "The Elements" in, gosh, it has to be at least thirty years if not more, and I'll be damned it does hold up well doesn't it! The animee rocks!
Sorry to go on so long
Subject: Still as great now!
One of the first albums I had purchased was "That was the year that was". I listened to that record so many times, eventually it wasn't playable. Listening to and watching him sing those songs, brought me back to a place in my life,that I have fond memories of. My favorite song off 'the year that was', was, "The vatican rag."
Subject: Tom Lehrer lives!
Subject: Can't believe my eyes!
WOW! Awesome! Love the man's stuff, can't believe I stumbled across this! LOVE IT!
Subject: Hey all!
I'm the guy who found this footage a while back now (Cubehouse), I think I'm allowed to review my own posting!
You have no idea how excited I was when I had spent 4 days straight searching for video footage, then happened to stroll onto archive.org (I like the lego movies muchly, very amusing) when I thought I'd just type in Tom Lehrer, I downloaded the video and re-posted it edited for all fans to enjoy easily without requiring you to download a 2GB+ Maths lecture!
I think its great to see him enjoying himself, he must enjoy performing, lets hope we can tempt him out of his home and have a comeback!
If you want to keep up-to date with Tom Lehrer, visit the Tom Lehrer community at: http://www.livejournal.com/community/tomlehrer/
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Subject: What A Privilege!
I just signed onto the Archive when I stumbled across this. Wow! I grew up on Dr. Demento and Lehrer was a staple of his repertoire with songs such as, 'So Long, Mom, I'm Off To Drop The Bomb," and "Poisoning Pigeons In The Park," et al.
The Maths songs are just a breath of fresh air. I was never very good at mathematics and it just brought my dull and dreary classes with a new perspective.
Whoever found this clip, I hope more will be found. Lehrer is a true American treasure!
Subject: Wonderful Music and Patter
This is a "Math Songs" concert, and is excellent. Thank you for posting it on the net.
These are all songs I've never heard before, about calculus and algebra and mathematics applied to the social sciences. A great version of "That's Mathematics!" is given -- it has original melody by Lehrer, as he explained that the tune he originally used for a parody was denied authorization -- and a verse referencing the solution of Fermat's Last Theorum that was found in the mid-nineties.
Wonderful to see him still enjoying performances.